Meritocracy-Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Mind' started by Harry, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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    I saw the above video and had read some pages on internet but I am not yet fully decided I.e. there is no feeling of 'okay, I got it' in me [ it's in out of balance].
    What are ur thoughts on Meritocracy?
     
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  2. Dally

    Dally Active Member

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    It just sounds like the commentator is describing the basic way our society is set up. He is saying that life is too complex to judge people about things like that, so one day you're a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, this means you are a good human, the next day you go bankrupt and lose everything, all of the sudden you are a degenerate, you see how this is an unstable belief system? You cannot sustain it because life is dynamic. Get a good paying job = you are worthy of love and whatever it is you desire. This is just a common belief we are taught growing up by our external influences. The truth is that when we get the things we desire we realize they don't fulfill the way we wanted them to, some people never realize this for various reasons. Those of us that do, in my case, got what we wanted and it made us even more lost. So we came to the conclusion that if those things don't make us happy what will? I gave up, I couldn't think of anything else. An unconditional openness to all facets of life was what gave me a taste of true fulfillment. It's not something that's of the minds domain, sure the mind is part of it but it's more of a "whole" perspective, it doesn't leave anything out.. Yes even "that" (example xyz)
     
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  3. Joanna

    Joanna Active Member

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    @Harry and @Dally, your posts have made me remember a very painful experience I had not so long ago. I was staying in hotel right by a coffeehouse, and because I hung out there a lot, on the patio with my dog, I made the acquaintance/casual friendship of two homeless men who were also there frequently. The weather was mostly great, but it one night it rained buckets of water, and I could not bear the thought that I was in a warm and dry hotel room while these two men were sleeping outside with minimal protection.

    I went and found them, and paid for them to have a room for the night. It continued to rain, so I paid for the second night. I felt really good that I could do something good, make them comfortable, because they seemed to have so very little, and yet I could see how this was going...at a certain point, unless I wanted to adopt them, I could not keep paying for their hotel room. They both said they needed jobs, they wanted jobs, but they just couldn't get 'a break'. (Neither was on drugs or alcohol). I felt much confusion...I had this desire to help with a need I saw. I wanted to fix their life, essentially. I felt intense guilt that I had so much and they so little. It didn't seem fair. They didn't deserve what I viewed as intolerable circumstances.

    So...I told them I would pay for a hotel for two weeks, and during that time, I found them programs to help get them jobs and housing. Nothing changed. They always had reasons why nothing would work. I couldn't understand it, because if I was homeless and someone gave me a hotel room for two weeks, I would (I believe) use it as a pathway to self sufficiency. Thus I felt resentment and anger mixed with my guilt, because these men were not doing what I believed I would do in that situation.

    In the end, I felt too much anger and guilt and just avoided the coffee shop, and didn't see them anymore. I regret so much about this situation. I wish I could have understood that I was just providing temporary shelter for these men, and that was enough. I regret so deeply that I tried to change them...they must have felt shame and embarrassment that I tried to 'fix' them, which they probably felt they had to go along with, because I was paying for their shelter.

    Meritocracy attempts to judge another's worthiness and deservedness of their lot. But since nobody can know all the facts of a person's life, nobody can sit in judgement. All we can do is provide for the real obvious need at hand. If someone is hungry or needs shelter, we can feed them or house them if we have the resources, rather than try to regulate or try to change how someone came to be hungry or homeless in the first place, if they deserve it or not. That is something only the hungry person or homeless person can know and change, only individuals have the capacity to change, not society itself, which is just a collective movement of individuals. And as @Dally has said, what we think we need or want, either for ourselves or others, is never really what we, or they, need or want. We can only change what is right in front of us. I was able to temporarily alleviate two homeless people's discomfort, but I could not solve the problem of their homelessness, because that was only in their power to change. Facing ourselves in brutal but compassionate honesty is the way to wholeness, which ultimately will fix all problems, as if (or because) they never were. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
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  4. Shiv

    Shiv Active Member

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    The fundamental basis of a meritocracy is this : one must earn their worth. "Earning worth" doesn't necessarily have to translate into earning a lot of money. In a meritocracy, things like social, political or religious service also hold many merit points. But essentially it all boils down to "what is your contribution to this social collective?"

    The problem is that most people confuse their social worth with their essential worth. And that is because most people are almost wholly defined by their social identity: the ego. If you were to compare a homeless man (as in @Joanna's example) to a hermit sage - on the outside both appear nearly identical. Both have barely any possessions in the world, both appear disheveled and unkempt, both make an absolute minimal contribution to the social collective. And yet, the difference is in how each experiences his own circumstance. The homeless man sees himself through the frame of reference of the social identity, whereas the sage sees himself through the perspective of his essential identity. Thus while the first perceives lack and low self-worth, the second perceives abundance and self-fulfillment.

    I reiterate that neither is contributing to society. Both are deemed worthless from the perspective of the social collective. The only difference is one chooses to buy into that perspective as the fundamental basis of reality and the second does not.

    When a child is born she has no concept of propriety. As far as she is concerned, the entire Universe is hers to experience and to share with other beings. This concept of "this piece of the Universe is mine and this piece is yours" is unfathomable to her. Yet, over time she will learn to draw these imaginary lines and in drawing them she will learn to believe she deserves an infinitesimal piece of the whole. And she will envy those whose pieces are just slightly bigger although just as infinitesimal all the same. And she will feel as if she is not worthy enough to deserve that slightly bigger piece. But who will tell her that she is worthy enough to deserve the whole Universe? That she already has it? Who will show her this and will she any longer have the eyes to see?

    It is a tragic game we play this social game, because of the very fact that we forget it is a game. Amassing wealth and property, pioneering business, technological innovation and research, creating art, music, dance, poetry, leading profound social change, uplifting the less fortunate or neglected are all worthy pursuits within the social game. But these do not add or subtract one iota from your essential worth which is infinitely vast. If you doubt this spend some time in nature and see what the trees think of you.

    The sage knows this and so nothing he ever does (or doesn't do) is ever motivated from a place of enhancing self worth. For how can one enhance what is already infinite? Instead, any actions that he does perform are purely spontaneous and not based on some sense of "helping or benefiting or uplifting" others, for he sees that same infinite worth and abundance in everyone around him. How can you uplift someone who already has the whole Universe? All you can do is help clear their perspective that they might glimpse this truth for themselves. All actions are merely to improve the other's experience in the social game, but the sage knows that in the end life is essentially a zero sum game. There are no winners and no losers.

    From cradle to grave in the blink of an eye. And in between, only earth and sky.
     
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  5. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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    @Shiv
    Patriotism --
    I have seen many people bullying people in the name of Patriotism unnecessarily. Unfortunately, most of the people join them when a crisis emerges in the nation, like molestation by immigrants in Germany which resulted in calling for Ban of all the Muslim immigrants in Germany, San Bernandino shooting which lead to the call for ban of Muslim immigrants in US which was echoed by Donald Trump and hence by many American citizens.
    My view-- As I see Patriotism is love for the country. It's fundamentally a love and love shud not have any boundaries. Though I love myself but that love does not exclude people of other nationalities. But when people do bullying in the name of patriotism , then I feel they feel belong to some country [ may be some race, religion etc] only because they have sought refuge in that identity so that it can give them false sense of security. Also, there are other set of people like political parties which latches on opportunities like border dispute to create fear among the mind of people that nation is at threat and feather their feeling of patriotism and in the end , people out of this feeling of security might do irrational things in the name of patriotism e.g. attacking of Muslims after 9/11 and the same things happens all over the world which makes me think the definition of Patriotism which is embedded in the mind of the people is arising out of insecurity. The same goes with religion especially Muslims who are ready to wage a war and kill people only becos someone insulted their Prophet. So, the common denominator here is sense of belonging which might be nation/religion but that sense of belonging arises due to feeling of insecurity .
    So, my question is What is Patriotism in Truest sense?
     
  6. Joanna

    Joanna Active Member

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    This is really interesting, @Shiv . Babies do share naturally. Sometimes. It's a game to them! But it also makes me think of that particular scream of rage that only an infant can do. It's as if babies have no frame of reference other than they are the omnipotent ruler of the universe, and the only logical reaction one can have, as an omnipotent ruler, when things don't go your way, is rage. I have been experiencing with great awareness my intolerance of frustration, and I swear I can narrow it down to this infantile rage. Today I was telling a friend that I think I am a narcissist. He had me take a test, and I scored a ten out of 40, 15 being the average American. So, no. And yet I would, truly, like to be the omnipotent ruler of the universe, where the denizens cater to my whims (that wasn't one of the questions on the test!). But I guess I want the denizens to WANT to cater to my whims, ha! I don't know what lies beyond this desire, but it accounts for 100% of my problems, I'm pretty sure. :)
     
  7. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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  8. Shiv

    Shiv Active Member

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    @Joanna - we are all narcissists. Only some are in denial of this fact. Everything we do in the end is motivated by how it makes us feel. Even those so called selfless acts are ultimately self-serving in that the satisfy some desire within us to exhibit benevolence or serve justice or benefit humanity. If acts of charity were to create a negative experience within us instead we would quickly abandon such acts as was the case when you began to find that helping the two homeless guys wasn't panning out the way you had intended. It was always about you from the very beginning and your anger/frustration may have initially resulted from you not getting what you wanted out of the experience, but was further exacerbated by this misunderstanding of why you did what you did in the first place.

    If from the outset you had been aware that this was always only about you, then you may have let go of the frustration of things not working out the way you wanted much as one might deal with a flat tire. But because you thought it was about them, your anger was more about the helplessness you felt about the situation, the potential shame you may have caused them.

    But their shame is none of your business, nor is their lot in life. You cannot understand the value of what they are living other than through the limited perspective of the life you are living. That doesn't mean you shouldn't extend yourself for another but when you do it know that it is always about you. And when someone helps you in turn know that it is always about them.

    Young kids know this. But the day they learn guilt, they become permanently muddled about why they do what they do.

    God is a narcissist. Or else why would he have created billions of incarnations and perspectives from which to see himself? :)